May 2016
Vermont Businesses for 
Social Responsibility
Just Good Business.
Members and Friends:

There's networking and then there's . . . networking.

These are some of the comments from our spring conference: "The positive energy, connecting with other like-minded business people (new and old acquaintances). . . ." "As a first time attendee, I was impressed with how all the attendees were open to conversation." "We left with lots of great ideas and new connections."

I get the sense that for the VBSR audience, networking goes beyond the typical networking. Indeed, VBSR is a community. Our members generously share their ideas and know-how, helping the group as a whole expand the possibilities of how businesses can support their triple bottom lines. One such member is being recognized for continued work towards Excellence in Socially Responsible Business--please join us in congratulating Paul Millman from Chroma Technology on being selected to receive VBSR's 2016 Terry Ehrich Award. We can't wait to gather in September for our annual recognition dinner, and we hope to see many of you there as well. (Details coming soon!)

Thank you all for being part of this inspiring community!


Jane Campbell
Executive Director
VBSR Welcomes and Thanks our Newest Members! 

North Country Professional Services
 The Spring Network, LLP*
Individual Members:
Ashley Grove (Stowe)
Christa Anderson (Burlington)
Keith Levenson (Burlington)
 *Also joined Local First Vermont! 
This Edition of E-news Sponsored By:
Breezy Hill Marketing  
325 Attend Spring Conference
Attendance Tops Previous Year Again! 
On Thursday, May 12th, more than 325 business and nonprofit leaders, legislators, students, state employees, and activists came together for a day of education around socially responsible practices in the workplace. Gathering at the LEED certified Davis Center at the University of Vermont in downtown Burlington, attendees of VBSR's 26th Annual Spring Conference experienced a robust and varied agenda.  
"I recognize that this is a large and important event in our state. I extend a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone involved in making it happen." - VBSR 26th Annual Spring Conference attendee feedback.

"We tried hard this year to make sure we had
something for everyone," noted Russ Elek, VBSR's Communication and Membership Manager. "Whether it's a workshop on 'How to Train Anyone to Do Anything,' or 'Creating Compelling Mission Statements,' an exploration of a carbon pollution tax or the importance of  local investing, we wanted to appeal to both small and large businesses, to HR managers and CEOs, to nonprofit leaders and public officials. In order to move social responsibility forward, we have to have a seat for everyone at the table."

"Overall, it was an exhausting, informative, and incredibly valuable day. We will definitely be back next year - thank you all for all of your work to make this happen!!!!" noted one conference attendee.

Throughout the day, attendees learned important tips and tools for integrating corporate social responsibility practices, they were also grateful for a chance to really connect with like-minded individuals

Check out the photos here and read the complete recap. Several attendees chimed in on social media about the experience; click here to read what people were saying about #vbsrspring! 
Join Us at Red Wagon Plants!
VBSR June Networking Get-Together Comes to Hinesburg 

VBSR members and friends are invited to an evening of networking and education at Red Wagon Plants in Hinesburg! Join us as we "Get-Together" in full bloom to talk CSR, sustainability, and the importance of community involvement. This event is open to the public; free for VBSR members and state officials, $10 for non-members. Hors d'oeuvres provided by our gracious host with a cash bar by new VBSR member Stonecutter Spirits!

Click here to learn more and register today!

There are only a few sponsorships left for this event. Sponsors receive 60 seconds to speak at event; logo, link and company description on VBSR event page; logo with weblink on email invitations; logo on mailed postcard invite to around 700 businesses and on displays at event; social media thank yous and promotion.

Support VBSR, gain visibility... contact Russ today!

Special thanks to our early bird sponsors: Champlain Community Services, Merritt & Merritt, ReVisions LLC, and TruexCullins. 
VBSR Launches Summer Study Group on Independent Contractors
Help Us Help You... Get Involved Today!

How Vermont defines the relationship between employers and workers is one the most fundamental regulatory issues for our state's economy. Employers deserve clear and consistent rules to follow, and workers deserve both flexibility and access to the workplace safety net, such as unemployment and worker's compensation benefits.
VBSR and the Women Business Owners Network (WBON) are joining forces this summer to launch a study committee with the goal of developing a public policy on how to redefine independent contractors for the 21st century. We need member help with this process!
We will hold a series of private meetings this summer--featuring state officials, business and employment law leaders and other stakeholders--to discuss this important issue. These conversations will influence the organizations' advocacy on the issue at the State House during the 2017-18 legislative session.
The first meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 13, 4-6 PM in Burlington (exact meeting location is TBA). Participation is limited to VBSR and WBON members, along with currently elected members of the Vermont Legislature and relevant state officials. Contact VBSR Public Policy Manager Daniel Barlow at if you are interested in serving on the summer study committee.
Change the Story Drops by the Vermont Conversation 
A new report, "Where Women Work and Why It Matters," developed by Change the Story Vermont paints a disturbing picture of the plight of working women in Vermont. 43% of VT women who work full-time do not make enough to cover basic living expenses. Women who work full-time are disproportionately employed in low-wage jobs -- across every age group, at every level of education. And Vermont women are especially vulnerable in their senior years, when their median annual income from Social Security ($10,000) is half that of men ($20,000). 
During this show, we hear from Tiffany Bluemle, director of Change the Story, and Marybeth Redmond, director of development & communications for Vermont Works for Women. 
Click here to hear this and stories from other recent shows, including:  

Thank you to our sponsors!
Last Call to Advertise in the 2016-17 Buy Local Book
Rates Start at just $240 - Deadline June 3!

Local First Vermont's Buy Local Resource Guide and Coupon Book is popular with Vermonters who want to support locally-owned businesses and save money. It's also an affordable way to promote your business for a full year and attract new customers.

Advertising options include coupons, merchant profiles, full-page stories and--new this year--full-page ads. Rates start at just $240 for VBSR members -- just $20 per month! In addition to a full year of exposure in the book, Local First Vermont also features advertisers on social media and via seasonal "Buy Local" promotions.
Buy Local Book advertisers include some of Vermont's finest locally-owned businesses in Addison, Chittenden and Washington counties and, with more than 6,500 books currently in circulation, many see hundreds of coupons redeemed each year. For the next edition, we're making two changes that are bound to increase our circulation:

expanding the book to include other towns throughout Vermont
2) developing a mobile app for your phone
Act now to be part of the next Buy Local Book! The deadline for reserving ad space is June 3rd. For more info, visit To sign up, please contact Wendy.  
  "We love hearing from guests they've never been in before and are here because of the Buy Local Book! We know we are exposing ourselves to new people and hope they will return on their own." Berkeley B. Brooks of VBSR/LFVT Member Prohibition Pig
Non-Profits and Businesses Looking for Event Sponsors
Second Chance Sponsorships
Looking to turn some Lemons into Lemonade? The Marketplace can convert in-kind donations into Trade Dollars that you can use to SAVE CASH.

Have you ever heard....
  • "We love your mission, but a cash donation isn't in our budget right now"
  • "The economy has been rough, so we'll have to cut back on our annual donation."
  • "You do a great job, we'll keep you in mind for next year."
If you've approached local businesses for cash donations and heard "No Thanks" and "Not Now," the Marketplace can help you make a follow-up that may result in a donation.

How It Works:
Look through your "No Thanks" List.
1) Is the business a VBSR member? They may already have Trade Dollars they can donate to you! Ask them.
2) Is the business a retail or restaurant? If they will give you gift cards, The Marketplace will buy them and distribute their gift cards to members in the Marketplace, bringing them new customers while increasing your balance.
3) Is the business service-based? We may be able to find a way to bring them a new customer based on the current requests in the Marketplace, and they could donate a portion of those credits to you! 

We like transactions like these where everyone wins:
  • You get a donation that helps you
  • A local business gets to support you AND get new customers
  • We build new ways to help each other when the economy gets tough.
Ready to turn Lemons into Lemonade?
Member Events
Upcoming Member Events
May 28: Lord Colchester's Birthday Bash (Colchester's Mead Hall)

June 1: Laughter for Learning (Stern Center)

June 5: John Dewey Cooking Institute (University of Vermont)

June 8: 5th Annual Water Quality Conference (Vermont Environmental Consortium)

June 23: Women Helping Battered Women Rebranding Event (Women Helping Battered Women)

July 30: Color Dash 5k (Southern Vermont Arts Center)

August 5: 7th Annual Hank Schaefer Memorial Golf Tournament (Turning Point Center of Chittenden County)

Log-on to VBSR's website to post an event. Forgot your password? Send us an email! 
Member Jobs
Recently Posted Member Jobs 

  • Log-on to VBSR's website to post a job. Forgot your password? Send us an email!  
    Looking for an internship? Click here for our most recent listings. 
    Member News  
    We want your news and press releases!! Submit or post a story on our Facebook page or send us an email...

    News items will be posted in the "Member News" section of our website and will be considered for inclusion in VBSR's monthly E-News.

    Vermont Restaurant Week Donates $20,000 to the Vermont Foodbank
    A total of $20,000 was donated to the Vermont Foodbank as a result of Seven Days' 7th annual Vermont Restaurant Week. This popular event was presented by the Vermont Federal Credit Union and organized by Seven Days, publisher of 7 Nights, the statewide guide to Vermont's restaurants and bars.
    Many factors contributed to the total donation. All proceeds from the Best Bite Bash, a tasting event and competition among local chefs, went to the foodbank. Donations also came from a panel discussion at ArtsRiot; from Belly Laughs, a food-themed improv show at Vermont Comedy Club; event raffles; and a portion of sponsorship dollars. Learn More 
    VSAC to open college savings accounts for babies born on '529 Day'
    Each baby born at a Vermont hospital on May 29 this year will receive a $100 deposit into a Vermont 529 college savings account opened in his or her name by the Vermont Student Assistance Corp.

    The Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems is joining VSAC, which administers Vermont's 529 college savings plan, to help educate Vermont families about saving for college for their children. Learn More
    Nominations Sought for 2016 Con Hogan Community Leadership Award 
    The Vermont Community Foundation is seeking nominations for the 2016 Con Hogan Award for Creative, Entrepreneurial Community Leadership. The $15,000 cash award intends to recognize Con Hogan's life's work and commitment by encouraging and rewarding mid-career leaders who share his vision of a better Vermont-one that places the highest value on the public good and who seize the responsibility for making that vision real by using data and measurement, monitoring a plan of action, and making adjustments along the way. Learn More

    ECFiber Announces Universal Coverage Plan for Six Towns
    The East Central Vermont Telecommunications District ("ECFiber") today announced plans to provide high speed, community-owned Internet to six Vermont towns in 2017. Nearly 100%* of households and businesses in Barnard, Thetford, Strafford, West Windsor, Pomfret, and Pittsfield will have access to an optical fiber internet connection in 2017. Fiber connectivity is the most reliable, symmetrical high-speed Internet access that will meet household and business needs today and for decades to come. Learn More.
    University of Vermont, Burlington Electric Unveil Electric Vehicle Charging Stations on UVM Campus
    The University of Vermont and the Burlington Electric Department today officially unveiled four dual port electric vehicle (EV) charging stations positioned in strategic locations around the campus. During a joint news conference at the new Aiken Center charging station, UVM and BED representatives highlighted their commitment to increased workplace charging opportunities as a strategy to increase the number of EVs on the road and to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, all resulting from the ability to simultaneously charge eight vehicles. Learn More

    Main Street in Montpelier Featured in 2016 'Main Streets Across America'

    National Life Group recently announced its 2016 Main Streets Across America, a celebration of streets in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia that reflect strong 'main street values', play a central role in the communities in which they are located and have great stories to tell. Vermont is represented this year by Main Street in Montpelier. Learn More. 

    Photo by National Life Group

    Burlington Kicks Off Most Sustainable City Campaign Effort

    Mayor Miro Weinberger, City Council President Jane Knodell, Burlington Electric Department General Manager Neale Lunderville, other City officials, business leaders, and everybody's favorite furry Lake Monster and sustainability advocate, Champ, kicked off Burlington's effort to win a two-month long social media campaign launched today by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) showcasing climate and sustainability solutions from Burlington and other leading cities around the world. Learn More.  
    This Edition of E-news Sponsored By:
    The VBSR Marketplace 
    Thank you VBSR Champion Members for your ongoing support!


       Ben and Jerry'sGardener's Supply
    as of 12/17/12
    Marketing Partners New Chapter newRenewable NRG 8/2013

    S      VSECU
    At VBSR,
    Our mission
    is to foster a business ethic in Vermont that recognizes the opportunity and responsibility of the business community to set a high standard for protecting the natural, human, and economic environments of our citizens. We are committed to a multiple bottom line approach to business that values people, planet and profit.


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    Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility
    255 South Champlain Street, Suite 11
    Burlington, Vermont 05401
    (802) 862-8347